Looking for a new spin on classic meatballs? Try these super moist Baked Turkey Meatloaf Meatballs! Packed with flavor from finely minced vegetables and a homemade meatloaf glaze, these meatballs are perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a fun appetizer for a party!
Turkey meatloaf meatballs are a fun and delicious twist on classic meatballs and my famous meatloaf recipe. They’re made with ground turkey instead of beef, and the addition of grated carrot, minced shallot, and chopped spinach gives them a unique flavor that sets them apart from a traditional meatball. The simple meatloaf sauce made with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar is the perfect finishing touch, adding a touch of sweetness and tanginess that complements the savory flavors.
I happen to be the queen of ground turkey recipes and I’m excited for you to add this to the list. The ground turkey is moist and tender, with the grated carrot and minced shallot adding a subtle sweetness and a hint of crunch. The chopped spinach and herbs give the meatballs a fresh flavor, while the glaze adds a tangy and slightly sticky sweetness that balances everything out. The end result is a delicious and satisfying meatball that’s perfect for any occasion!
They’re perfect as a main dish, served with a side of vegetable orzo salad or roasted potatoes. You can also serve them as an appetizer, either on their own or with a dipping sauce on the side. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a fun appetizer for a party, these turkey meatloaf meatballs are an easy way to get a healthy main course on the table!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Turkey meatloaf meatballs are a healthier twist on classic meatballs, using lean ground turkey instead of beef, making them perfect for anyone looking for a healthier meal option without sacrificing taste.
- The addition of grated carrot, minced shallot, and chopped spinach adds a unique flavor profile with a soft and moist texture.
- The meatloaf glaze made with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar is the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, adding an irresistible sticky coating to the top.
- They are incredibly versatile and can be served as a main dish, an appetizer, or even in a sandwich or wrap, making them a go-to recipe that you’ll come back to time and time again!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Turkey – A lean protein in this recipe that makes these meatballs healthier than traditional beef meatballs and is budget-friendly.
- Panko – These Japanese-style breadcrumbs add a light and crispy texture to the meatballs and help bind the ingredients together.
- Vegetables – A mix of finely minced shallot, grated garlic, grated carrot, minced parsley, chives, and finely chopped spinach adds lots of aromatic flavor, texture, and nutrients to the meatballs.
- Ketchup & Worcestershire Sauce – Gives the meatballs a salty, tangy twist that pairs well with the main ingredients in the glaze.
- Salt & Pepper – These two simple spices work together to balance and enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
- Ketchup – Adds sweetness and acidity to the glaze that complements the savory flavors of the meatballs.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Adds a savory and umami flavor to the glaze that complements the other ingredients in the meatballs.
- Brown Sugar – Adds sweetness to the glaze and helps to create a caramelized coating on the meatballs.
How To Make Baked Turkey Meatloaf Meatballs
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Prepare the vegetables: Peel and mince the shallot. Grate the garlic, carrot, and a small handful of spinach.
Assemble the meatballs: Add the prepared vegetables to a bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Use a fork or clean hands to mix everything together until evenly distributed without overmixing.
Form and bake: Form the meatballs into golf ball sized circles and place them on the baking sheet at least one inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes.
Assemble the glaze: While the meatballs are baking, add the ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar into a bowl. Whisk until fully combined.
Brush with glaze: Remove the meatballs after 10 minutes of baking time, then brush the glaze over each meatball. Return to the oven and let them cook for an additional 10-12 minutes or until fully cooked through. Enjoy with your favorite side dishes.
- When mixing the ingredients for the meatballs, be careful not to overmix the meat, as it can result in tough and dry meatballs. Mix everything until just combined, using a fork or your hands, and avoid squeezing or kneading the mixture too much.
- Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to measure out the meat mixture for each meatball. This ensures that each meatball is the same size, which helps them cook evenly.
- If you have time, let the meat mixture rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before forming into meatballs. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes the meatballs even more flavorful.
- When brushing the glaze onto the meatballs, be sure to do it evenly and coat all sides of the meatballs. This ensures that the glaze caramelizes evenly and creates a delicious sticky coating on the meatballs.
- For a spicier version of these turkey meatloaf meatballs, add a finely chopped jalapeño pepper to the meat mixture or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the glaze.
- To make them gluten-free, replace the panko breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour.
- If you’re not a fan of turkey, you can use ground chicken, pork, or beef instead. Just adjust the cooking time as needed since different meats cook at different rates.
- For a different flavor profile, try swapping out the Worcestershire sauce for soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. You can also add a splash of rice vinegar or sesame oil to the glaze for an Asian-inspired twist.
- To make these meatballs even more nutritious, add additional finely chopped vegetables to the meat mixture, such as zucchini, bell pepper, or mushrooms. This adds more flavor and nutrients to the meatballs.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Store any leftover turkey meatloaf meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Freezing: To freeze, let them cool completely and then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. You can freeze them either with or without the glaze. Seal the container or bag tightly and label it with the date before placing it in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheating: When you’re ready to use them, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop for a few hours. To reheat them, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat them in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.
What’s the best type of ground turkey to use for meatloaf meatballs?
The best type of ground turkey to use for meatloaf is a ground turkey that has a mixture of dark and light meat. This is because dark meat has a higher fat content, which helps to keep the meatloaf moist and flavorful. Using all-white meat ground turkey can result in a dry and less flavorful meatloaf.
Why are my turkey meatballs tough?
There are a few reasons that turkey meatballs could be tough in texture. The most likely cause is that the mixture was overmixed. Overmixing can result in tough and dry meatballs, so it’s important to mix everything together until just combined using a fork or your hands and not overmix the ingredients. Using ground turkey breast could be another issue, as it has a much lower fat content than ground turkey with dark meat and can result in dry meatballs.
Serve turkey meatloaf meatballs with the following side dishes!
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes
- Chestnut Herb Stuffing
- Chopped Kale Salad
- Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts
- Chili Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Looking for a new spin on classic meatballs? Try these super moist! Packed with flavor from finely minced vegetables and a homemade meatloaf glaze, these meatballs are perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a fun appetizer for a party!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ½ cup panko
- 3 tablespoons finely minced shallot
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons grated carrot (1 medium carrot)
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- ¼ cup finely chopped spinach
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add all the ingredients for the meatballs to a large bowl. Use a fork or clean hands to mix everything together until well combined. Be careful not to overmix as the meatballs can become tough.
- Form into golf ball sized meatballs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes while you make the glaze.
- In a small bowl mix together the ketchup, worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
- After the meatballs have baked for 10 minutes, remove them from the oven and brush the sauce over each meatball.
- Place them back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes.
- Remove and enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Keywords: meatloaf meatballs, turkey meatballs, turkey meatloaf meatballs, moist turkey meatballs